Year of Publication

2002

Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Joyce T. Jones

Second Advisor

Dr. Charles Galloway

Third Advisor

Dr. Marianne Barnes

Fourth Advisor

Dr. David Fenner

Department Chair

Dr. John Venn

College Dean

Dr. Katherine Kasten

Abstract

This retrospective, qualitative case study examined the complexities of leadership in a community college setting under a single, long-term president. Six critical events were identified by 16 key informants as a basis for reflection on their views of the 23-year presidency of Dr. William Seeker at Florida Keys Community College.

The researcher found a highly participatory leadership model and a college that functions in a less hierarchical manner than is traditionally encountered in community colleges. The study further revealed that the president of Florida Keys Community College expanded the role of president by giving priority to the construction of a positive and productive learning culture, honoring local resources, both tangible and intangible. The driving force behind the institution throughout this 23 year period was the development of human capital. A philosophy of approaching tough decisions swiftly and deliberately while maintaining a sense of inclusion in the decision making process is a hallmark of this presidency. A better understanding of the role of the president is necessary for present and future leaders of community colleges, for the Boards of Trustees who act as policy makers, and for state legislators. Indeed, anyone who leads a public organization that must be responsive to local community needs and to a local governing board can gain valuable insights from this examination of one community college presidency.

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